The SOMM Journal

December 2014/January 2015

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106 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014/2015 { real bordeaux } MATTHIEU GUYON ARRIVED IN NEW YORK City in September with a mission: He wanted to show that his family's Bordeaux wines were equal to or better than wines ranked in Bordeaux's historic 1855 classification and Saint-Émilion's top estates. Domaines Rollan de By is a collection of eight Bordeaux unranked châteaux in the broad Médoc appellation owned by Jean Guyon, a former Parisian interior designer. Guyon's son Matthieu orchestrated a blind tasting of their Châteaux Rollan de By and Haut Condissas, with the First Growth Bordeaux Château Margaux; Châteaux Cheval Blanc and Canon (both Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé) and the Third Growth Château Lagrange. Perhaps Guyon didn't realize it, but he followed the script of Robert Mondavi, one of the greatest wine marketers. In the 1970s and 1980s, Mondavi regularly toured America and foreign venues hosting blind tastings for wine writers, retailers and restaurateurs that pitted Mondavi's Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve against the First Growth wines of Châteaux Margaux, Lafite-Rothschild, Mouton- Rothschild and other classified Bordeaux estates. Every tasting I attended resulted in Mondavi's Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve garnering more votes than one or more of the world-renowned Bordeaux wines. Did that mean that Mondavi's bottle was bet - ter? Did the September tasting prove that Rollan A Question of Rank and Privilege by John Foy THE NEW KID MEETS THE OLD GUARD IN A BLIND COMPARATIVE TASTING OF BORDEAUX PHOTO: LANA BORTOLOT Matthieu Guyon, son of Domaines Rollan de By owner Jean Guyon, pre- sented his father's wines side by side with top Bordeaux labels at Daniel in New York City.

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